Friday, April 6, 2018


A sunny, cold and windy day for a bushwhack loop over a favorite little peak and view ledges on Acteon Ridge (a spur ridge of Sandwich Dome). Conditions were a typical mixed spring bag with bare ground in the south-facing hardwoods and crusty snow elsewhere.

The hardwoods are calling when the frozen, choppy trails are unappealing.

An unusual elongated rock formation.

A majestic oak.

A small, icy ephemeral cascade.

Rocky terrain.

Deep blue skies.

A ledge facing the Campton Range.

A corridor through the oaks.

Wonderfully gnarled.

Up the ledgy ramp.

An inviting expanse of granite.

A recently fallen tree opened a gap with a peek into the Smarts Brook valley.

Black Mountains, upper and lower.

Mossy buttons.

A rock wall in the forest.

I always pause to admire this white ash triplet.

A sunlit cliff.

Looking down a steep hardwood slope that formed part of my route.

Open conifers on Acteon Peak. The snow was firm and not very deep, so the snowshoes went for a ride today.

Sandwich Dome and the upper Black Mountain from a view ledge on Acteon Peak. This vista of the ridges around the Smarts Brook valley is a longtime favorite. The wind was gusting over 100 mph on Mt. Washington today, but this spot was shielded by the trees....

...which allowed for a snooze in the sun.

Jennings Peak, Sachem Peak and Sandwich Dome.

Long view south, under ranks of puffy clouds.

Parting shot after an hour and a half sojourn.

The wooded summit of Acteon Peak. In the late 1800s AMC explorer Charles E. Fay named this ridge after the last chief of the Pemigewasset Indian tribe.

Open woods in the col between Acteon Peak and Sachem Peak.

A neat boulder on the descent towards Smarts Brook.

Open woods were the rule on this route.

Old, frozen bear tracks.

Back to bare ground hardwoods.

Smarts Brook still had some partial snow bridges and was easy to cross.

Miserable April footing on the Smarts Brook Trail, featuring frozen boot holes.

Evening at the Smarts Brook beaver pond.

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